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J-D, CBA prevail in Dome debuts

It only figured that Jamesville-DeWitt and Christian Brothers Academy, two of the most prestigious programs in the history of Section III basketball, would be part of another major milestone on Sunday.

Both the Red Rams and Brothers were part of the inaugural Holiday Classic at the Carrier Dome, the first high school games ever played there - and both would win there, too.

The three-time state Class A champion Red Rams were far from sharp, but still did enough to beat Elmira Southside by a score of 68-52. This came after CBA, led by senior forward Greg Thomson, cruised to a 54-44 victory over Fowler.

J-D, who had opened with a 92-41 win over Fulton three nights earlier, was in the spotlight once more - especially DaJuan Coleman, the 6-11 junior forward coveted by Syracuse and most of the nation's other top college programs.

Perhaps feeling some stage fright in the Dome, J-D played through a shaky opening sequence that included rushed passes and shots and just one basket from Coleman. It didn't help that Demetrius Mitchell, the Rams' superb senior guard, suffered a foot injury in the game's opening minute and did not return.

Gradually, the Rams' depth and talent tried to assert itself in the second quarter, but it wasn't until Pete Drescher notched a trio of baskets (he had 10 points in the half) that the Rams built some cushion. J-D clung to a 33-26 edge going into the break, far from secure.

As soon as the second half began, the tempo went much more to J-D's liking - fast and furious, with Coleman and fellow forward Tyler Cavanaugh using their strength and size to get inside points.

Southside still wouldn't go away, though, keeping itself within single digits deep into the fourth quarter as J-D ran its turnover total to 18 and remained uneven.

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